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Leadership development: 3 steps to make change stick

Here’s a question to ponder: are existing leadership practices within your organisation inadvertently stifling the very growth you aim to achieve?

Organisations are constantly striving for innovation and efficiency, and the role of senior HR leaders has never been more critical. You are at the forefront of driving change and shaping the future leaders of your company. But understanding, acknowledging, and embedding effective leadership behaviours can be a transformative process that, when done in partnership with experts, can reveal and rectify hidden practices that may be holding your company back.

Understanding the depth of culture and its impact

Let’s start with the basics. Culture, often described as the ‘way things are done around here’, is not just a backdrop for organisational life; it shapes every interaction and decision within the company. As noted by Ivy House’s CEO, Natalie Benjamin, in a recent discussion, the first step in leadership development is to “understand it”. This means delving into the organisational culture deeply enough to grasp its nuances and the impact it has on leadership behaviours.

For example, in a company where hierarchy is deeply ingrained, proposing a shift towards empowerment might seem like a positive move. However, without addressing the underlying cultural reverence for hierarchy, such initiatives are likely to falter. True change begins not with broad strokes but with an understanding of these foundational elements.

Acknowledging the challenges and the need for tailored leadership development solutions

Acknowledgement is the second critical phase. It involves recognising the barriers and biases that exist within an organisation. In order to improve, organisations must confront their shortcomings. This step is often the most challenging, as it requires an organisation to be introspective and open to criticism—qualities that are often not role modelled in corporate structures.

This is where HR leaders play an indispensable role. By fostering an environment where such challenges can be openly discussed without fear of reprisal, you pave the way for genuine transformation. It’s about creating a safe space where the truth about current practices can be addressed, including those that are counterproductive to the desired leadership behaviours.

Embedding new practices through expert partnerships

The final piece of the puzzle is to “embed it”. This isn’t just about introducing new policies or practices; it’s about making them stick. Embedding effective leadership behaviours requires consistent effort and expert guidance. At Ivy House, we believe in partnering with organisations to fill the gaps and offer support where needed. We bring our expertise to the table in abundance, ensuring that the new leadership behaviours are not only introduced but are also ingrained and become a part of the organisational fabric.

Our partnership approach is akin to that of a sports team where every player is a specialist in their position, yet all work together towards a common goal. We do not just provide solutions; we tailor them in such a way that they resonate with every level of your organisation. By doing so, we ensure that these practices are not superficially adopted but are deeply embedded, leading to sustainable change.

The Ivy House difference in driving behavioural change

At Ivy House, we focus on behavioural change as the core of leadership development. We understand that behaviours are not changed overnight nor through isolated interventions. Instead, we engage in a deep, ongoing process that involves close collaboration with our clients, sharing our expertise while also learning from each unique organisational context.

Our values—relationships, expertise, and magic—are at the heart of everything we do. By building strong relationships, we ensure open communication and trust. Our expertise allows us to provide insights and strategies that are both innovative and practical. And finally, the magic happens when we combine our strengths to bring about change that is not only effective but also inspiring.

Inviting reflection and action

As a senior HR leader, your role in this transformative journey is crucial. You are the catalyst for change, the bridge between past practices and future possibilities. By partnering with experts like Ivy House, you can uncover and address the subtle yet significant cultural elements that impact leadership effectiveness.

Reflect on the leadership practices currently in place within your organisation. Are they conducive to the kind of growth and innovation you aim to achieve? Are there hidden practices that might be limiting your leaders’ potential?

Change is a challenging but exhilarating journey. It requires courage, commitment, and collaboration. If you’re ready to take the first step towards genuine transformation, consider how a partnership focused on deep understanding, tailored solutions, and sustained embedding could make all the difference. Let’s work together to uncover the hidden practices that might be holding back your leaders and set a new standard for excellence in leadership within your organisation.

What change could you drive if the barriers within were acknowledged and addressed?

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